Were The Other Kids Ever Jealous?


All day today I’ve been thinking of my grandmother.  I didn’t know her all that well because we lived about 350 miles away growing up, but she lived into my late teens so I feel like I knew her alright.  She was sweet and kind and the sort of person you can’t imagine ever screamed at her four children even once.

It helped, I’m sure, that her own mother lived in and took care of those kids a lot of the time.  But still.

I’ve been thinking of her today because of her four kids, my dad was her only little redhead.  I’d really, really love to ask her about that because I’m so surprised how much attention is drawn to my own little redhead’s locks everywhere we go.

Did people stop you in stores to remark on dad’s hair? I’d like to ask her.

Or, Did you ever imagine you’d have a redheaded baby after having one with brown and one with blonde hair?

Did it drive you nuts when people asked you where he gets his red hair from? I’d probably also ask, since I have to admit it drives me a little nuts.  (Of course, my whole life I’ve had people calling me a redhead even though I’m really not and now I’ve been replaced by my kid and people look at him and then at me and ask that dreaded question, forcing me to admit that my hair is only just plain old generic-colored.  I’m a gener-ette.)

It’s sort of silly, I guess, that this one little thing suddenly has me feeling all this camaraderie with a grandmother I know relatively little about.  Silly, maybe, but true.


4 Responses to “Were The Other Kids Ever Jealous?”

  1. Not silly at all. Realizing what you and your grandmother had in common helps you to better understand her, and understand the experience of motherhood that you shared.

    And while we have no redheads here, we get stopped all the time so people can comment on Cordelia’s curls. I get oohs and ahhs, and the occasional “Did you perm her hair?”

  2. 2 Toni

    I think you should answer, “From the mailman.” That’ll give ’em pause. :)

  3. For some reason, I’m very touched by that connection you feel. No doubt, she experienced a lot of that same stuff! It seems redheads have always gotten that kind of attention. My grandfather had red hair, and I remember his friends calling him “Red” in a teasing way, because of course by then, his hair was white.

    One of my friends dyed her hair red so people would stop asking where her daughter got her red hair. But then, of course, it was “OH! I see where she gets it!”

  4. 4 hub

    Ahh, Toni, you think like us!! We were planning on having Evan start to respond to that question when he can talk by saying something like “I don’t know, the only red heads I know are the mailman, our neighbor, and my Dad’s best friend,” but decided that the therapy bills later on are reason enough to avoid such shenanigans.

    J – I think its cool that you’re relating to “your elders” in new ways. I think that’s one of the coolest things about growing up. You pick up perspective as you get older that changes so much about the way you think, and I think that’s great. I think even those of us who get to know our grandparents really well don’t really know them at all until later in life, usually when they’ve gone, unfortunately, because we need all the little things that happened to them to happen to us to understand how their adult personalities were formed.

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